Yarn bombing: spreading woolly joy in a city near you

Yarn bombing: spreading woolly joy in a city near you

Knitting and crochet is enjoying a kaleidoscopic resurgence, fueled by the enthusiasm of an underground group who call themselves Yarn Bombers (also known as yarn storming or knitting graffiti). These guys are having a ball, crafting colourful creations to adorn the mundane.

With weapons of wool, inspired folk from all corners on the globe are bringing smiles to weary commuters and colour to our concrete jungles. In Grandmother’s Legacy’s words (a yarn bomber from British Columbia, Canada): ” Yarn bombing is important, it makes me feel unique and anti-establishment. I feel like a ninja.”

How good is that? Bali from Melbourne gets a rush when it comes to the graffiti part and, even though she finds it a little scary, says it feels good that someone will see the pieces and smile. As Grandmother’s Legacy says: “I love to place yarn bombs that will make people smile or think or be changed and affected in some way.”

And does it make passers by smile? Well I stumbled upon a display of yarn bombing last year, at the Mandurah Stretch Festival (stretching imaginations in Western Australia). Trees were draped and wrapped with knitting and crochet of every colour and yes, it sure made me smile, and want to rush home and get my needles out.

Knitty Graffity from New Zealand has a piece entitled ‘I LOVE KNITTING’ which has been out on display for nine months, which is pretty amazing; and someone has even added three knitted teddies.

How can you tell a yarn bomber? Because they carry a measuring tape at all times! Twilight Taggers was just off to measure a pole (stating that this was not a euphemism for anything dirty) during the lunch break!

Stitch London - http://www.stitchldn.com

Stitch London – http://www.stitchldn.com28-Dec-2006 03:06, SAMSUNG TECHWIN CO., LTD. Digimax A7/Kenox D7, 4.9, 20.6mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 71

Most yarn bombers had dabbled with knitting and crochet as kids, but had been inspired to re-learn their craft after reading Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain’s Yarn Bombing book.

Unlike in my nana’s day, today knitting is not just for the ladies. Yes, the boys are at it too. The lads and lasses that I spoke to can spend up to three hours a day creating their pieces, which they find to be a relaxing activity. Research even suggests that knitting can help to relieve chronic pain, worries, stress and depression.

So yarn bombers have it all: relaxation, excitement and that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from altruistic actions. This sure sounds like a recipe for good health to me.

Find yarn bombers in your neighbourhood…

Knit the City:

Operating from a secret underground wool-lined bunker in the heart of the busy metropolis, these London-based yarn bombers operate under assumed names by day and spread woolly joy under the cover of darkness.

Yarn Bombing:

Improving the urban landscape one stitch at a time. Creative folk who take part in knitting graffiti projects around the world.

The Tree Cozy Project:

A group of Canadian yarn bombers who installed tree cozies in downtown Vancouver.


ArtYarn aim to use traditional knitting and crochet techniques in contemporary visual arts projects. Good site to find out about UK-based yarn bombing!

More stitchin’ than bitchin’:

Join these Tasmania stitchers for a knit, a coffee, an apple tea or a piece of turkish delight.

Purl Interrupted:

Brilliantly-named blog by a proud co-founder of Stitch and Bitch London – a yarn of one girl, two sticks, string, and a backpack.

Stitch London:

Not just a knitting group – they are taking over the world, one stitch at a time. This friendly group teaches knitting skills for free, meet for free and do slightly odd things like wrap giant metal lions in 550ft handknit scarves.


Deadly Knitshade is a lone wool-hungry wolf whose knits aren’t content with lurking in the shadows of conventional knitting. Instilled with eerie knitting powers. She is subject to constant unexpected ‘knitblasts’ leaving woolly debris around the city.

(Photo by Knit The City)

One Comment

  1. Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    We are a group called the Oxford Drunken Knitwits (www.meetup.com/the-oxford-drunken-knitwits) and we are looking to yarn bomb some Oxford monuments! We are always seeking new members to our group, so please join us if you are from the Oxford area!

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